Allele Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals (Allele) has secured a grant from the US National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute on Aging to develop a new antibody therapy for Alzheimer’s disease.
Allele seeks to use the NIH grant to develop antibody drug candidates to combat, as well as provide, long-needed research tools for other scientists to further studies on Alzheimer’s disease.
In a previous study, Allele scientists and academics collaborators discovered a strong correlation between a previously uncharacterised target gene and Alzheimer’s disease.
It was observed that the expression of the gene decreases amyloid beta production and tau phosphorylation, which are the components responsible for plaque formation in Alzheimer’s disease.
They also found that high levels of this protein in the brain can counteract loss of synapses and cognitive impairments in mice.
Allele will develop a panel of antibodies that identify this protein, one of which would be used as a therapeutic drug candidate.
The antibodies will feature a distinct shape and size, allowing them to pass the blood-brain barrier to reach the critical areas of the brain. Allele researchers also aim to modify and engineer each antibody to enhance its therapeutic potential.
When fused with fluorescent proteins such as mNeonGreen, the antibodies can detect Alzheimer’s disease-related factors in cultured neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes or 'minibrain' organoids derived from human iPSCs.